Did you really think you would hit the lottery?


I succumbed.

Like many of you out there, I broke down under the illusion of $636 million and bought my way into the Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday night — knowing in my mind that winning was a near-statistical impossibility, but feeling in my heart that I was going to be the one dancing with a big check in front of television cameras.

Rest assured, faithful reader, there will be no celebratory dancing from this jiggly bald man. There will be no yachts. There will be no diamond-encrusted thong on me while I’m drinking rum out of a coconut on a private island, and there will be no private jet with “I digress a mile high” emblazoned on the side going back and forth to Las Vegas.

No, I did not win the Mega Millions life-changer the other night. But, like many of you, I did allow my imagination to run wild in the hours leading up to the drawing. The “logic” portion of my brain was realistic and knew that it wasn’t going to happen for me. But the “ludicrous” section kept butting into the conversation with thoughts like, “I could buy a majority stake in the Baltimore Orioles and replace the owner’s box with a giant whirlpool and watch every game with a snorkel and a margarita while having bacon-covered bacon smothered in a delightful bacon sauce delivered to me by the Rockettes.”

That’s right. I know how to dream big.

On a side note, I can’t help but wonder how old I sounded there using a “Rockettes” joke. Do people still watch them? Do people know who they are anymore? Should I just keep with this theme and make jokes about the “Pet Rock” and “the Marlboro man” and ...

But I digress.

Admit it. If you allowed yourself to buy a ticket for the Mega Millions the other night you also allowed yourself to dream big. Maybe it was as simple as paying off all your debt and living a life without your brain and stomach being squeezed by creditors, or giving your loved ones a Christmas they would never forget. Or maybe you had illusions on the grander side, and fantasized over mansions and Italian sports cars and robots that would fill your every need. Or maybe your brain was locked on to one specific thought alone — like funding efforts to battle Alzheimer’s or just being able to retire.

On that note, I never quite understood those who said they would get the giant check and call their bosses that moment to say they quit. Why not work one final day and get out every bit of frustration you’ve ever had? Tell off that co-worker who drives you crazy with stories about her cats, or the one who stashes smelly snacks in his desk to eat later. Show up in a bathrobe with a bag of Doritos in hand and see who is first to try to tell you to go home and change.

Editor’s note: This advice does not go out to any of the reporters at the Coastal Point or, in fact, any of the employees here. We ask that you continue your vow of lifelong servitude, um, mutually-beneficial employment, with the Point.

I can’t help but wonder how many people actually woke up Wednesday morning angry that they did not win the Mega Millions. People on my Facebook page for days had been openly discussing what they planned to do with the money had they won, and several news reports I saw or read featured people who were already putting together shopping carts online to process when their numbers were inevitably called.

Look, I’m a big believer in dreams and those who dream them. In my humble opinion, nothing great in this world would have ever been achieved without the contributions of dreamers. However, I am referring to people who dream something they can actively control and set about making it a reality, not those hoping to be that one snowflake that happens to land on a pin during a nation-wide blizzard.

Don’t get me wrong here. It is fun to hope. It’s exhilirating to step outside the norm and imagine a life without the stress of bills, or living in a mansion furnished with gold end tables and firing off shots at Waterford crystal on your skeet range. But that is about hope, not expectations — and that is a pretty significant difference.

Aim high in life and go about getting everything you’ve ever dreamt of achieving or having. But, remember, that involves more than stopping at the liquor store to buy your lottery ticket.